Last month Manchester steakhouse Hawksmoor hit the headlines after seeing the funny side of things when a waiter accidentally served a £4,500 bottle of wine to a customer. In a jovial tweet the restaurant remarked that mistakes happen and told the presumably mortified waiter, “we love you anyway.”

Meanwhile and in stark contrast, casual dining chain Wahaca made the news this week when a customer who happened to be a former council leader, contacted the chain via social media after a waiter was allegedly asked to foot the bill after some other customers legged it without paying.

Initially Wahaca responded by saying the problem was an "internal communications" issue but after the tweet went viral, the company backed down and said that staff would never now be asked to pay for customers' unpaid bills.

While any business that expects employees to make a financial contribution for errors should be regarded as unethical, the incident is particularly unsavory given that waiting staff are often subject to the living wage. 

A PR nightmare for Wahaca but a PR win for Hawkesmore who have since been recognised as one of the best UK hospitality employers by The Caterer, the leading trade magazine.

Hopefully the Wahaca furore will teach unscrupulous bosses that immoral employment practices can backfire.  One things for sure, I won't be paying my local Wahaca a visit any time soon but if I lived in Manchester I would be keen to check out Hawksmoor.